Latest Public Sector News

15.11.18

‘No easy options left’: Suffolk council proposes cutting jobs and services to save £11m in 2019

Suffolk County Council is set to cut service spending and jobs as part of an £11.2m savings package in its proposed budget for 2019-20.

The proposals will be examined by the council’s scrutiny committee next week, but if accepted, the plans would see 2.99% rise in council tax next year, with a further 1% rise for social care and a further 1.99% rise for the two years from 2020.

Spending would also be slashed across the board – cuts described by the council as “tough decisions.” Some of these include:

  • No roadside cleaning, with only essential maintenance of road marking;
  • A halt to funding of youth support service and Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme;
  • Taking all bus timetables online rather than roadside, with reduced spending on rural bus services;
  • Reduction in winter road gritting;
  • Removal of the Citizens Advice Bureau grant;
  • Reduction in provisions for hostel beds and housing support for people in their own tenancies.

The council has already made savings of £260m since 2011, and is aiming to save a further £25m in 2019-20 as it faces continued reductions in central government grants and other incomes.

“We have some really tough calls to make if we are to balance the budget in the next financial year and in years beyond. There are no easy options left,” said Cllr Richard Smith, cabinet member for finance and assets.

“Council tax income, including the social are precept, accounts for around 62% of the £500m spent by Suffolk County Council each year in providing services for our residents. Now, £500m is still a very large sum of money, but it’s important to recognise that almost two-thirds of our budget is used to support those who are most vulnerable.

“We have to fund and provide these important care and safeguarding services by law, and they continue to be our highest priorities, as difficult as it is to find the funding to deliver them to a good standard.”

Last month, a children’s home run by the council was found to have “serious and widespread failures,” meaning vulnerable children were not being properly protected.

Cllr Smith warned back in September: “I think most people have some awareness that local councils are facing enormous financial challenges, but it’s figures like these [a forecasted £9m overspend] that bring the scale of the issue into sharp focus.”

Top image: Peter Sterling

 

Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

08/10/2019NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

Hayley Clark, the acting head of development and impact at the NSPCC, talks about the significant gap in support services for children who have been sexually abused and the Ho... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >